Narinder Singh Kapany: Scientist, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist : The Tribune India


Roopinder Singh

Apioneering scientist, trainer, entrepreneur, businessman, patron of arts and philanthropist, Moga-born Narinder Singh Kapany was actually multi-faceted. The “father of fibre optics” turned his analysis right into a thriving enterprise, and within the course of revolutionised communication and helped present the underpinnings of the Web infrastructure of right now. He was additionally a significant patron of Sikh arts and sponsored many actions by the Sikh Basis that he based.

Born on October 31, 1926, the person who rubbed shoulders with a veritable who’s who of world leaders, presidents, prime ministers and princes, Dr Kapany handed away on December 4, 2020. For “Fortune” journal, in 1999, he was among the many “Unsung Heroes of the twentieth century”, who, many contend, had a stronger declare than Charles Kao, who bought the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2009.

As a teen, he grew up in Dehradun. He earned the BSc diploma from Agra College after which went to the UK for superior research in optics on the Imperial School of Science in London. There he researched and efficiently printed a paper on transmitting photographs by optical fibre bundles in “Nature” in 1954. The identical yr he married Satinder Kaur in London.

The couple moved to the US in 1955, the place Dr Kapany taught on the College of Rochester. He established Optics Expertise in 1960 at Palo Alto, California. The west coast was to be his house henceforth, as he devoted his time to instructing — College of California (UC) Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, and Stanford College — and to his enterprise, occurring to founding Kaptron (1973) and K2 Optronics (2000). I bear in mind his laughing and saying that one should be modest after I requested him why he had named his firm after the second highest peak on the earth.

The Kapany household house welcomed Punjabis. Nevertheless, the back-to-the-roots craving took a concrete type with the institution of the Sikh Basis in 1967.

In 1997, he arrange the Kundan Kaur Kapany Chair of Sikh Research on the College of California at Santa Barbara within the reminiscence of his mom. In 1999, he endowed a Chair of Opto-Electronics on the College of California, Santa Cruz.

He led the commemoration of the Tercentenary of the Khalsa with the worldwide “Sikh arts exhibit” on the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, which was inaugurated by Prince Charles on March 22, 1999.

He misplaced his spouse Satinder in 2016.

Dr Narinder Singh Kapany is survived by his son Raj Kapany and daughter Kiran Kaur Kapany and his grandchildren. His household, basis and endowed chairs will now have the problem of shaping his legacy.


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